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Transactions of the Symposium on Photo Interpretation

thus coordinates work that otherwise consists of a series of random and in
adequate field investigations.
Once the soil and rock materials, groundwater conditions, and geological
features have been identified on the vertical aerial photographs, it only remains
to complete their interpretation by translation in terms of engineering problems.
While aerial photo interpretation is applicable to some extent in practically all
phases of engineering planning, the greatest benefits can be realized if aerial
photo interpretation is employed at the outset, when the site for the project is
being selected. The relationship of the site location to the ultimate success of
the project, plus the ease with which favourable site locations can be distin
guished from the less desirable locations on vertical photographs, permits this
approach to fulfil the requirements of modern engineering planning at a
lower cost.
Site locations having favourable foundation conditions and a natural supply
of suitable construction materials lead to economical designs, lowered con
struction costs, and assured success of the project. The ability to evaluate these
problems by aerial photo interpretation, assisted by a limited amount of field
work, obviates a number of difficulties that are very often encountered when
conventional field methods alone are employed in making site selections.
The most efficient approach to the overall economic development of new or
extensively cultivated lands is by way of an integrated survey of the natural
resources using aerial photo interpretation as a starting point. The region then
is analysed simultaneously by a team of experts, such as geologists, geomor
phologists, soil scientists, foresters, botanists, etc. and thus all aspects of the
physical setting are studied and mapped. This method has become more pop
ular in recent years and will certainly be of ever increasing importance in the
future, since it is the only practical way by which the solution to the problem of
rapid large scale economic development can be achieved. The method is,
amongst others, applied by the C.S.I.R.O. in Australia, the Air Survey Branch
in Ceylon, the Geographical Survey Institute of Japan, etc.
The starting point for the investigations is usually the present utilization of
the various landform units of the region. The necessary data for this land use
map - on which the vegetation often is also indicated - can be easily derived
from aerial photographs in combination with a field check. Land use mapping
from the air is therefore certainly one of the most promising subjects of geo
graphical photo interpretation.
The second phase of the work will be the detailed analysis of the terrain in
all its aspects, such as landforms, water features, soils, geology, etc. A separate
map will be made for every aspect studied. These maps will give an insight
into the potentialities of every part of the area and they will therefore be a
guide for the planning of the most efficient future land use. The regional planner
will find in this map series the essential information for his development
The regional complex and its interrelationships cannot be studied com